FYI this post is a bit long. If you want to go straight to the review of Beautique By TG click here.
Hi guys! Wow, it’s been a little minute since I posted on this blog 🥴. I had so many plans for it but truthfully I got caught up with motherhood and my duties for The Biz Hive. I had plans to catch up with it down the line, and then the Pandemic hit. So of course I ended up being stuck in the house without much to blog about 🤦🏾♀️. . As the pandemic started to ease up a bit, I started to feel the urge to blog again. I had been watching the shift that was happening for Black businesses, and it made me want to find ways to do more to help push the movement. With everything surrounding Black Lives and how we matter, I had told myself that I would become more intentional with patronizing more Black businesses. As a consumer, I find that I could be doing way more when it comes to keeping my dollars in my community. Truthfully, I tend to spend with other races because it’s more convenient. I get my nails done at Asian shops because there’s nearly one on every corner. I get my hair done by Dominicans because I’m in and out quickly. When it comes to food, I don’t eat out much, but when I do, it’s usually at a Black-owned restaurant, but like I said it’s few and far in between. I want to change that. I’m not going to pretend that I’m ONLY going to shop Black because that’s not realistic for me. But I will promise to shop Black MORE. I’m going to make it my business to seek out Black businesses whenever I need to make a purchase. I might not shop there right away, but I’ll definitely get there at some point because I want to help with the movement of making our Black dollars circulate within the Black community. So with all of that said, I’ve decided to start reviewing the Black businesses I patronize. As Your BFF Stef I want you guys to be able to trust that my reviews and experiences are honest and true. My hope is that you’ll like what you see and also make it your business to patronize these businesses when you can. I want to make it clear that I will STILL be shopping and patronizing the businesses of all other races when I choose to, I’m just choosing to review the Black ones because we need to spread the word for each other. So if you see me sitting in an Asian nail salon or a Dominican hair salon, don’t stare at me like I’m a liar lol! I’m just making more of an effort to support my people like I do others. So finally, here’s my review of the first Black business I’ll be reviewing. It’s a nail salon located in Saint Albans, Queens in NY, and it’s called Beautique By TG.
So just to give you guys a little backstory on my experience with this particular business, let me start by telling you that I usually go to a different nail salon in the area (Asian). As we all know, all nail salons have been closed for the past few months, and by the time the city opened back up, like most people, I was in dire need of the works! Prior to the opening of beauty-service businesses, I had already decided that I wanted to frequent more Black-owned businesses, but I knew it was going be hard to get in on the first day of them opening. As much as I wanted to support a Black-owned nail salon, I was already planning to go to an Asian one because I knew that they would be ready to take as many people as they could. So I went over to my regular spot, and the line was super long. People said that they had been waiting for over two hours and they still didn’t know when it would be their turn. I looked at the sign-in list and saw that the cross outs weren’t even close to the end of the list. 😩. Mind you, I had my son with me, it was hot, and I was already over it before it had even started. I asked some of the women waiting if they knew of any others in the area. They told me there were two more salons down the block. I knew of one, but I didn’t know of the second one they were talking about. So I walked down to the one I knew of (also Asian), and they told me the same thing. They were actually a bit more organized because they were actually giving appointments as to not overwhelm everyone, but the next appointment time was still about 3 hours away, and I didn’t have that kind of time. At that point I’m like ok let me check out this other one they mentioned. I walked towards it and I realized I had never seen it before. It turned out to be Beautique By TG. I peeked in and noticed that there were all Black techs working in there. I was so shocked. I’m like wow, how did I not know this was here. Someone was at the door talking to one of the techs so I waited outside with my son because you know, social distancing, and once she was done, I stepped in. The lady at the door, who I assumed was the receptionist, greeted me, and asked if I had an appointment. I said no, do you guys take walk-ins? She said no we only do appointments. I said ok do you have any appointments? She said no. 🤨. That was it. She said no. I looked at her. She looked at me. I said ok cool thanks and I walked out. Now I want to pause here for a second because to me, this was rude. Or maybe rude isn’t the right word, but it was something. In my head I’m wondering why she didn’t ask me if I would be interested in an appointment down the line. At first I was annoyed and I was like well they just won’t ever get my business. Then I realized that could be the problem. We are so hard on our own. Asian and Dominican businesses have done way worse and I haven’t even blinked an eye, so why was I so quick to dismiss her? Maybe she was having a bad day. Maybe she didn’t even think anything of it. Maybe I was just being too hard on her. At that moment I decided I would not take it personally. I decided I would just make an appointment and try again because it’s bigger than us. So that’s what I did. I made the appointment, and I went back and tried again. And I’m so glad I did.
My appointment was about 3 weeks after that first encounter. When I walked in the salon the second time it was a different experience. The same young lady was at the front desk. She greeted me with enthusiasm and a smile that I could hear and see even through her mask. I did the same of course. My temperature was taken and I was escorted to the back to wash my hands and start my gel manicure. My tech’s name was Dana, and she was very sweet and professional. They had Beyonce’s Homecoming album playing in the background, and Dana and I chatted about attending HBCUs, motivation, and just life during the pandemic. I asked her if she was the owner and she let me know that the young lady at the desk was actually the owner 🙂. One thing I quickly noticed were the differences between Asian salons and this one. (And I don’t even know if I should say Asian salons specifically, but I’m referring to salons that cater to a quicker, bigger, customer base.) One major difference is that there was no furniture-crowding in this salon. They have 3 Pedicure stations and about 4-5 Manicure stations. No one is sitting on top of each other and there is enough space for privacy. Another thing I noticed was that the tools they used at Beautique were super gentle, and the salon itself was super clean, neat, and beautifully designed.
At the completion of my manicure, Dana gave me a little cube which she broke apart and sprinkled into my palm. She told me to wash my hands with it and watch how soft it makes my hand. Chile, I can’t even explain the softness I felt. You’ll just have to try when you get there lol.
Next, I went over to a tech named Dorsia for my pedicure. It was super comfortable and relaxing. Dorsia was also nice and gentle. I opted for white polish on both because I wanted to keep it simple since it was my first time.
When it was time to pay and check out, I had to stop back at the front desk. She asked if I had enjoyed myself and if I liked my service. I explained that I had, and I let her know that I would be reviewing the salon on my blog. I even booked another appointment! So that was my experience at Beautique By TG. Not only do they do nails, but they also do lashes, brows, facials, and more! Click here to book your appointment! I definitely recommend them. And I was actually in and out within 90 min. Same as I would’ve been had I gone to my regular place. So guys please visit this salon, and please share this review. Because not only do Black Lives Matter, but so do Black Businesses, and we need to continue to let other people know that! 🖤
Where should I go next?